Here is a chart of increases in state expenditures by small states in the Western United States.
One of the questions this chart raises is, whether these debt levels are being expressed in nominal or real terms. For the sake of argument, we need to assume that these are nominal amounts. Here are the rates of change in the price index for the years 1998 to 2009:
Nothing in these numbers can produce an alibi for our state government. Oregon, unlike her sisters, rapidly expanded government expenditures, even in the face of the economic stresses that face those citizens who participate in the private sector. And remember, even though we've increased taxes on the productive sector of the economy, rather than our state reducing the rate of increase in our debt, in 2009 and 2009, the rate of increase in our debt went up.
Sure, it's nice to live in a state where we can send kindergartners to school for a full day. Of course, this is just baloney, since public schools have a vision of full days equalling six hours. And all the studies I've read show little or no improvement of scores for third-graders based on kindergarten, part-time or full-time. When it comes to settled science, whatever the OEA says is what we believe. And, they spend a lot of money supporting political candidates that support them. Which is natural. It's like a crime syndicate. I scratch your back, you scratch mine.
My mentor, The Real King of France, asked the question, why? And then answers it. Democrat control versus Republican control.
It's like living in a Ray Stevens song. "Everything Is Beautiful." How can we cut money for schools? Well, easy. But it takes spine. How can we cut money for the arts? Again, easy. Spine. No matter where you turn, cutting is attacked as cruel, unfair, racist. Sexist. Helping the rich. So, since everything is beautiful--and necessary--our debt continues to mount. While our neighbors manage on less.